In search of BLUEBILL

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Clayton Hammond, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Clayton Hammond
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 0
    Likes: 0, Points: 0
    Location: Rhinebeck NY

    Clayton Hammond New Member

    My grandfather William K. "Bill" Hammond and his wife Rosemary "Rosie" built a 65' steel hulled houseboat called BLUEBILL on the banks of the Kentucky River in Brooklin, KY, right on US-68 between Lexington and Harrodsburg. Started in mid-1970's and finished around 1984. He laid and welded the steel, then flipped the hull and built the rest in wood and glass. Twin screw diesel powered. He was a SeaBee in WWII, then worked in steel construction after. The boat was his retirement project. He was a member of the Bluegrass Power Squadron. While under construction, he was visited by traveling writer William Least Heat Moon and a portion of his book Blue Highways featured the story of building the boat on the side of US Highway 68. When the boat was finished he made arrangements to have the dormant locks on the KY River opened for him so that he could get to the Ohio. From there he planned to get down to the gulf via the Tenn-Tom. He made it to Florence, IN and Turtle Creek Marina...across the river from Warsaw, KY. So that's technically headed upriver and not headed down to the gulf... Welding and smoking over the course of his life gave him emphysema. He was getting progressively sicker by that time and needed to find someplace to stow the boat while he and my grandmother moved back up into central Indiana closer to family and treatment. He passed away in 1986. Grandma tried to hold on to the boat but it was sold by '88 or '89.

    Lost track of it after that. We've all figured that at some point it was hauled up on a beach and broken up or burned.

    It may have changed name to Blue Skies with a subsequent owner.

    Some online research and pictures turned up these:
    D911797 VIN
    RBS Hull KY2005070678

    Would love to track it down. Any help out there?


  2. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 678
    Likes: 64, Points: 28
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    I was soooo close.
    Missed it by that much.
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